The Garden City Telegram

VFW contests available for students

State Commander Lynn W. Rolf III of Leavenworth has announced the start of this year's Veterans of Foreign Wars and its Ladies Auxiliary "Voice of Democracy Program" competition. High school students have the opportunity to compete in the 66th annual audio essay program and win valuable scholarships and awards.

The theme for this years program is, "Why I'm Optimistic About our Nation's Future?"

The Voice of Democracy is a script writing program designed to give high school students the opportunity to voice their opinion on a patriotic theme and to express their thoughts to the American people. All ninth-, 10th-, 11th- and 12th-grade students, in public, parochial, home study program or private schools are eligible to participate through the VFW.

Exchange students and all past first-place department winners are not eligible to participate.

The deadline date for entries to be received by the Post is Nov. 1.

The Department of Kansas program will have scholarships and other awards amounting to $2,590. First place is $1,000 and paid trips to Washington, D.C. and the Freedom's Foundation at Valley Forge. Second place is $500 and third place is $300.

Commander Rolf also announced the start of this year's VFW and it's Ladies Auxiliary "Patriot's Pen Program" competition. Middle School students have the opportunity to compete in the 18th annual essay program and win cash prizes.

The theme for this years program is, "What Patriotism Means to Me." In 2013, VFW National prizes will be awarded totaling $53,000 with a first-place prize of $5,000 to use toward a U.S. savings bond of $10,000.

The Patriot's Pen program is an essay competition that gives students an opportunity to write essays expressing their views on democracy with the prospect of winning U.S. savings bonds.

All sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students in public, parochial, private or home schools can enter. Foreign exchange students and winners that have placed in the national finals are excluded from the contest. Students write an essay of 300 to 400 words. They submit the typewritten essay to the local VFW post chairman by Nov. 1.

Also, the Kansas VFW and it's Ladies Auxiliary, through its Endowment Association, offers college and vocational school scholarships to the children and grandchildren of its membership. Applicant's must have a parent or grandparent who are actively affiliated with a VFW Post or Ladies Auxiliary in Kansas. Active means either a life member or a member whose dues are paid for the current membership year or were so at the time of his/her death.

Applications are submitted through the VFW Post or Ladies Auxiliary that can verify the membership affiliation of the parent or grandparent. Applications are made available through local VFW posts or Ladies Auxiliaries and on its website (programs link).

Completed application forms can be returned to the VFW Post or Ladies Auxiliary for review and to verify eligibility for submission to the VFW Endowment Association for consideration. The deadline for applications is Feb. 1, 2014.

For further information on any of these contests or scholarship opportunities, contact either the local VFW Post or State Headquarters at:

VFW State Headquarters

P.O. Box 1008

Topeka, KS 66601-1008

(785) 272-6463